Statement on Racial Injustice and PRIDE
As the people of Hollywood United Methodist Church and Harmony-Toluca Lake, we stand with the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery and all those who mourn the racially motivated deaths of loved ones.
We join the Floyd and Taylor families in demanding justice for their murders at the hands of the police. We join the Arbery family in demanding justice for his murder at the hands of vigilantes. We demand an end to the systemic racism that seeks to divide us from each other. We stand together as God’s people, against any – thing, any –ism that would separate us from each other and from the love of God in Jesus Christ.
Systemic racism didn’t begin in 2016. That said, it’s clear the politics of racism and division that have led this nation over the past 3.5 years have brought us to these overt manifestations of sheer evil. Political oppression will only end when we as people of faith, who see each and every person as a beloved child of God, demand it through our actions and our voice. We as a church community have work to do.
The sin of racism remains entrenched – not just in police departments, but in business; in the media; in the entertainment industry; and in the church. We acknowledge and repent for the ways we have perpetuated racism — directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously. We seek forgiveness through a collective call to ongoing action in the church.
We commit ourselves to the call of our Council of Bishops to reclaim our baptismal vows: to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.
We also say yes to our Bishops: we will join in prayer at 8:46 a.m. and p.m. for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time the officer held his knee on George Floyd’s neck. We will do this for at least the next 30 days. Pray for all persons of color who suffer at the hands of injustice and oppression. Pray for our church as we take a stand against racism. Imagine the power of a concert of prayer heard around the world.
As we begin PRIDE month, we recommit ourselves to work for justice for our LGBTQIA+ siblings, even as we recommit ourselves to Black Lives Matter. We pledge to learn and work so that the disproportionate burden that black and brown people bear in so many arenas of our society – economic inequality, racial profiling by law enforcement, deaths from COVID-19, etc. – is eradicated.
Jane Crockett, Chair, Governance Board
Rev. Kathy Cooper Ledesma, Senior Pastor